Having seen all the various incarnations of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES over the years, it’s been fascinating to see the waves of popularity levels rise and fall over time. I was front-and-center the first time the TMNT crew jumped from animated to live-action, and I tend to think that they’re actually more popular now. TMNT has been firmly-established as a multi-generational interest at this point, one enjoyed by parents and kids, girls and boys alike. When a character becomes so loved that they wind up being sold on little girls’ underwear (and yes, The Rock Daughters’ do have Ninja Turtles undies), that’s a big deal. From the beginning, Playmates Toys has held the master license, and I think that their toys just keep getting better. This year, they’ve launched a new sub-line that places the Turtles and their enemies in a new aisle at the toy store – the diecast section. Enter the T-MACHINES.
When we first saw these on the pegs around six months ago, the girls’ interest was piqued (as was mine), but it wasn’t until the folks at Playmates sent a sample pack here to Rock Father HQ for review that we really dove-in – moving beyond the samples and picking some up ourselves.
Being big into the world of diecast vehicles, we’ve got a ton of reference in terms of comparison, and right out of the package these strike me as having some of that Ed “Big Daddy” Roth inspiration – the characters popping out of the tops of their vehicles in that sorta “Rat Fink” style, though not nearly as overt as the late Monster 500 line (which I reviewed here). They’re sleek and well-constructed – colorful and immediate eye candy for the kids.
In the T-Machines Collection are an assortment of basic vehicles, vehicles with sound, two-packs, basic playsets (Gas Station or Garage & Lair) and a Deluxe “Turtles Revenge” playset. We received the TMNT Sewer Garage, and it was quickly welcomed into the world of play that the girls have established – with the Turtles seamlessly inhabiting a realm filled with other vehicles and playsets, doll houses and tracks. After all, everyone needs a gas station (unless you drive a plug-in), so you might as well get gas from the Turtles, right?
The T-MACHINES are an official pick for my 2015 Holiday Wish Guide here at THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, and you can bet that if they do well, there will be future assortments with more characters. What we need are some villains, and we’ve seen Shredder, Fishface, and Tiger Claw out there. You know what else would be cool? A Bebop & Rocksteady two-pack! Perhaps that’s lurking somewhere down the road?
T-Machines are available at major retailers everywhere. Stay tuned for a chance to win an assortment of them in the near future.